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Comment Re:One bit doesn't make sense (Score 4, Informative) 101

Landing two boosters on drone ships could be desirable for a payload that's close to the performance limit of the Falcon Heavy, such that the center core uses all of its fuel and is expended. In such a mission, it's very possible that the side cores wouldn't have the fuel margin to boost all the way back to the launch site. So that launch profile would be close to the maximum performance of Falcon Heavy. Maximum would be expending all three cores and retaining no fuel to recover any of them. There could also be a hypothetical scenario where the center core completes one or more orbits and then returns to the landing site, while the two boosters land downrange on the drone ships.

Comment Re:so is there a good theory? (Score 1) 470

It's not as though there is a single test article being operated on by each group though, or a single measurement technique. Each group is building their own drive, presumably with different efficiency, power, mass, etc. So if you are measuring the power output of a Honda 4-cylinder engine and a Dodge V-12, you are going to get very different number and error bars. It doesn't mean that the effect isn't there, and you wouldn't expect the error bars on the machines to overlap.

It's certainly possible that all of these experimenters are fooling themselves and EM Drive will turn out to be this generation's cold fusion, but there's no expectation at this point that differing experiments will have agreement with one another in the specific values of raw thrust, or thrust/W.

Comment Re:You're lumping MANY things together, don't seem (Score 1) 263

It sounds to me like you haven't really gotten very familiar with the available literature on drug treatment, but this site will give you all the references you'd ever want:
The U.S., being one of the most conservative countries, looks down on methadone treatment because it goes against the puritanical ethic of abstinence in all things. That's purely based on dogma though, and we continue to employ ineffective, outdated, unscientific treatment methods because of that dogma. In reality, methadone has such a high efficacy that in any other context (imagine a drug that cured >90% of cancer, or heart disease, or depression) it would be considered a miracle treatment.

Let me quote you from earlier:

What mostly matters, to them, is what they're *feeling*. It doesn't matter much whether it works or not, it's mostly about the emotions, the math is beside the point.

That sounds a lot to me like you're disparaging liberals for relying on feelings. Which is why I pointed out the illogical, feeling-based positions that conservatives like yourself hold. You're living in the metaphorical glass house of emotionally-driven ideology, and throwing stones at liberals in the sense that you are criticizing them for using emotions to drive their policy positions.

I don't think it's wrong to care. But I think it's wrong to put ideology before factual evidence. And especially wrong to criticize others for doing it while you yourself are just as bad or worse. No matter how much you care, no matter how much you believe you are right, if the evidence shows that you're wrong you need to revise your position, or at the very least admit that your position is irrational.

Comment Re:You're lumping MANY things together, don't seem (Score 1) 263

If you decided that once a meth-head, always a meth-head, that's fine, think what you want.

I haven't decided anything like that - I've looked at the medical literature, which clearly establishes that methadone and similar medications are far and away the most effective treatment for addicts.

If you have any interest in actually finding out what works, I can start you with a few pointers, based on not only reading the studies, but working directly with hundreds of alcoholics and drug addicts, many of whom have now been sober for years.

The drug court option sounds like an improvement over criminal court, but it still sounds inferior to readily available medications, going by your own numbers. It sounds like you believe that your personal observations are more trustworthy than the medical literature. But, the thing is, no number of first-hand anecdotes will tell us anything quantifiable about actual program efficacy - have you examined selection bias? Have you shown statistical significance on how well this works? Have you performed randomized trials, or controlled for any kind of confounding factors? How do you know that your experience is at all representative of addiction experiences in other regions, or with other programs, demographics, etc?

Experience is not scientific data. That isn't to say that first-hand experience is valueless (far from it), but it is not sufficient, or a replacement for studies that quantify program success in an objective way. And this is fundamentally where I see many conservatives (but liberals as well) get sloppy in their thinking: they substitute dogma and "common sense" for evidence.

Really, at the end of the day, if you're going to throw stones at liberals for using "feelings" to influence their policy positions, you're setting a very high bar for yourself, where all of your positions must be rational and justified by evidence. I think conservatives generally do even worse at that game than liberals do, and so far I haven't seen you using evidence to justify your claims, but anecdotal impressions.

We need evidence to drive our policy, otherwise we're just stumbling in the dark. Dogma, rhetoric, and personal experience are not sufficient evidence. Feynman said it best:

It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

Comment Re:A very general trend, both pander. Utah is red (Score 1) 263

Better, in my experience, is to put some of that money in a drug court program, where people who get busted by police are strongly encouraged to participate in a program that can lead to drastically improving their lives in a permanent way.

Where's the evidence? The studies that exist show that on the whole, rehab, Narc Anon, Al Anon, interventions, and the like have extremely low success rates, and in many cases are outright dangerous, leading to death via withdrawal symptoms or suicide. There is little or no evidence to support the efficacy of abstinence programs, whether it's with teen sex or drug use. However, prescription drugs like methadone do work, with greater than 90% efficacy. And freely available contraception (along with sex ed) is one of the few policies that has been shown to effectively reduce rates of teen pregnancy (and abortion).

When you say "in my experience", it looks like you're using fuzzy, anecdotal thinking to support your policy positions. What we need are pilot programs and objective evaluation of evidence to drive our policy, rather than people picking a side a priori and then trying to shoehorn evidence into their ideology. For what it's worth, I started out conservative, but overall the conspicuous lack of evidence for many conservative positions has driven me farther and farther to the left.

Comment Re:They're caring and feeling, more than *thinking (Score 1) 263

They're *caring*, not thinking. What mostly matters, to them, is what they're *feeling*. It doesn't matter much whether it works or not, it's mostly about the emotions, the math is beside the point.

You know, that's really interesting, because as a fairly liberal person, I find the exact opposite to be the case: there are a lot of instances of conservative policy that doesn't make fiscal sense but *feels* conservative. Look at drug tests for welfare recipients - they cost far more than they save, so on the whole the country spends more on welfare if drug tests are made into a prerequisite. There are lots of similar situations, giving homeless people apartments has been a huge success in Utah, it ends up being cheaper to pay $10k/yr for a basic apartment than $15k-$20k/yr for emergency room visits, police calls, jail time, etc. So, it's a better fiscal solution, but it feels unfair, so conservatives generally don't like it.

The real answer, in my mind: partisan dogma is irrational on both sides. Policy is not, generally speaking, driven by data or evidence. No party has a monopoly on stupidity, although some groups capitalize on it to greater effect.

Submission + - Malware Found in the Firmware of 26 Low-Cost Android Models (

An anonymous reader writes: Security researchers have found malware hidden in the firmware of several low-end Android smartphones and tablets, malware which is used to show ads and install unwanted apps on the devices of unsuspecting users. 26 Android device models have been found to be vulnerable. The common link between all these devices is that all are low-cost devices, mostly marketed in Russia, and which run on MediaTek chipsets.

According to security researchers from Dr.Web, a Russian antivirus vendor, the malware appears to have been added to the firmware by "dishonest outsourcers who took part in [the] creation of Android system images decided to make money on users." The security firm has informed MediaTek and the device vendors about this issue so the affected companies can inspect their distribution chain and find the possible culprits.

Submission + - This Secret Ops AI Aims to Save Education (

mirandakatz writes: In Computer Science 7637 at Georgia Tech, students in Ashak Goel's class often ask questions of their TAs in an online forum, and the TAs helpfully respond—but one of them, unbeknownst to those students, is actually an artificial intelligence named Jill Watson. Goel envisions her as the basis of a startup, and he's just one of many people experimenting with integrating AIs in educational settings. But will human teachers ever be fully replaced by AI? Goel thinks not: “Teaching is a human activity, and fundamentally it’s about forming bonds with your students. A machine can’t do that. A machine can’t love the students.”

Submission + - FAA Tells Dreamliner Operators to Just Reboot It

Jay Maynard writes: How often do we tell computer users to just reboot it and see if the problem goes away? The FAA is now doing just that. They've issued an airworthiness directive — an order that must be complied with in order for an aircraft to be legal to fly — that requires operators of Boeing 787 Dreamliners to completely power off the aircraft at least every 21 days in order to reset the systems. The reason? They had received reports that all three flight control computers would simultaneously reset themselves on day 22.

Submission + - NETGEAR finds more routers vulnerable, pushes emergency patch (

chicksdaddy writes: Consumer home networking firm NETGEAR has issued an emergency software patch for a serious vulnerability in its home routers, even as the company doubles the list of affected hardware.

The company said on Tuesday ( that it is providing a “beta version” of router firmware that addresses an arbitrary command injection vulnerability that was disclosed in firmware used by a number of wireless routers sold to consumers and small businesses. NETGEAR said the software update is still being tested and will only work on three versions of its routers: the R6400, R7000 and R8000. The company also acknowledged that five more routers are affected by the flaw and remain unpatched: the R7900, R7300, R7100LG, R6700 and R6250.

The company said the new firmware has not been fully tested and “might not work for all users.” The company offered it as a “temporary solution” to address the security hole. “NETGEAR is working on a production firmware version that fixes this command injection vulnerability and will release it as quickly as possible,” the company said in a post to its online knowledgebase early Tuesday.

The move follows publication of a warning from experts at Carnegie Mellon on December 9 detailing a serious “arbitrary command injection” vulnerability in the latest version of firmware used by a number of Netgear wireless routers. ( The security hole could allow a remote attacker to take control of the router by convincing a user to visit a malicious web site. CMU urged NETGEAR customers to stop using affected routers until a fix can be found. (

The vulnerability was discovered by an individual using the handle Acew0rm (@acew0rm1), who says he contacted NETGEAR about the flaw four months ago, and went public with information on it after the company failed to address the issue on its own.

Submission + - Pipeline rupture spews oil into creek 150 miles from Standing Rock. (

Avantare writes: A interesting tidbit from The Guardian.
Quote: Electronic monitoring equipment failed to detect a pipeline rupture that spewed more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil into a North Dakota creek, according to the pipeline’s operator, about 150 miles from the site of the Standing Rock protests.

I was signing petitions to have the Dakota Access pipeline stopped and donated some money as well. Good things can happen in this Nation once its citizens and the press (meaning Slashdot, Ares Technica and Techdirt) get involved.

Comment Re:Riiiight.... (Score 1) 736

You also notice in this post there is no difference made between the right wing (most people in America) and the alt.right (a few thousand people). They are put together in the same bucket so that the odious beliefs of the alt.right may contaminate the entire right. The principle is: add a thimble of wine to a gallon of sewage and you've got a gallon of sewage, but add a thimble of sewage to a gallon of wine and you've got a gallon of sewage. This is just plain ignorant, but it's the new philosophy of the ctrl.left and sadly it has a good chance of working.

Not sure if your metaphor lands - I don't care if that wine is only 1% sewage, I'm still not drinking it. Same thing with a political movement that is aligned with Neo-nazis. Even dabbling in white supremacy compromises the entire party.

Comment Re:he bet on the winner (Score 1) 820

if eggs are fertilized at the wrong time of the month then the zygote still gets aborted just as part of the normal menstrual cycle.

Yes, but that is God's work, not human's. You didn't take an overt action to cause it.

In other words, people die all the time, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for no reason at all. That doesn't make them bad, it is just life. You go when it is your time to go.

There is a difference between billions of fertile eggs dying every year due to nature and millions killed on purpose.

That is why the law, for example, splits out homicide between intentional and unintentional, and sometimes you can kill someone and not go to jail because it was an honest accident due to events beyond your control.


Note: I fully get that not everyone agrees with me, thus the willingness to compromise. I give my point of view and set my position, then figure out what I can actually get, because I don't live in a world that has to do what I say. I honestly wish BOTH sides would remember that, because I hear it too often from both extremes that they don't wish to be reasonable.

Good job on the birth control thing - if you legitimately believe that way and are willing to forgo all contraceptive pills in your family based on your beliefs, that puts you a good step above most pro-lifers.

That said, I don't think the distinction on how a fetus gets aborted matters. The "rhythm method" of contraception has been around for a long, long time, and it plain and simple doesn't prevent eggs from being fertilized. Are these people committing continual manslaughter? Honestly, if you really go that far, then I think it might become immoral to have kids at all, or ever risk activity that would allow a fertilized egg to be aborted by natural causes or otherwise.

Think about it like this: if you want to save a kid's life, is it worth risking another kid's life for every chance at it? Obviously the answer is no. Every time you attempt to conceive, you run a serious risk of aborting a fertilized egg. By your definition, there's no moral way to conceive a child unless you can do it in such a way that you guarantee that no zygote can be aborted - and there is no way to get that guarantee.

The whole "natural" vs. "unnatural" thing is nonsense. Rape is natural, considering that it happens in the animal kingdom everywhere. Malaria is natural, so clearly there's no moral problem with allowing a child to die from malaria, right? Whether you make a choice that has a large chance of killing a child, or you outright choose to kill a child, you have done something horrific. I have found no logical argument that allowing a zygote to abort from natural causes is manslaughter, ergo early term abortion is not murder.

Comment Re:Your daughter's "reproductive rights" will be f (Score 1) 820

Far better and cheaper to let them kill themselves than waste money on people who are smarter than all the experts and ignore the Mt. Everest-sized evidence about the dangers of drug use.

No, it isn't. Junkies, homeless people, desperate people all have create a very real burden to society in terms of higher police costs, emergency room costs, and lost property values because of crime. In many cases, it's cheaper to fix the problem than it is to let it continue.

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